Alfred Schnittke: The Ten Symphonies

Alfred Schnittke: The Ten Symphonies

by Owain Arwel Hughes
     
 

It may be years before we can tell if the performances in BIS' set of Alfred Schnittke's complete symphonies are great or not. There is hardly any competition, at best one or two other recordings for each work, and although most of the alternatives were made with the great Gennady Rozhdestvensky at the podium, they are notSee more details below

Overview

It may be years before we can tell if the performances in BIS' set of Alfred Schnittke's complete symphonies are great or not. There is hardly any competition, at best one or two other recordings for each work, and although most of the alternatives were made with the great Gennady Rozhdestvensky at the podium, they are not necessarily definitive, since most of Schnittke's symphonies were composed in the 1980s and 1990s, and no performance tradition has yet evolved to determine if they are centralist or eccentric performances. It may turn out that BIS' varied group of conductors has turned in a varied lot of performances. Leif Segerstam's interpretations of the "First" and "Second" might be considered wildly radical, while Tadaaki Otaka's interpretations of the "Sixth" and "Seventh" might be conservative. Okko Kamu's reading of the "Fourth" could come to be compared with Bruno Walter's of Mahler's "Fourth" for sympathetic insight, while Eri Klas' account of the "Third" could prove as insensitive as Leonard Bernstein's performance of Sibelius' "Third." Lü Jia's take on the "Eighth" and Owain Arwel Hughes' on the "Ninth" might be counted as canonical, while Neeme Järvi's version of the "Fifth" might be discounted as a run-through. Two things, though, are clearly apparent after listening to this set many times: Alfred Schnittke is a great symphonist and his works in that form favorably compare with those by his direct forbears, Dmitry Shostakovich and Gustav Mahler. Like them, Schnittke can contain the whole world and everything in it in his symphonies, yet they are still wholly personal and often quite intimate, particularly the later symphonies. Like his predecessors, he can be bitterly ironic but sometimes sweetly sentimental in tone, massively brutal but sometimes delicately tender in effect, and he is always as adept at expressing an extraordinary range of human emotion and experience in his themes and harmonies. Like them, Schnittke in his later symphonies deals with the eternal verities -- love of life and fear of death -- in a manner that is at once deeply personal but universally comprehensible. Schnittke's harmonic language is intensely dissonant in the "First Symphony," and the later symphonies are not always any easier going, but the composer's overwhelming urge to communicate makes his music immensely compelling. BIS' digital sound is clear, clean, and immediate.

Read More

Product Details

Release Date:
12/08/2009
Label:
Bis
UPC:
7318591767688
catalogNumber:
1767/8

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Symphony No. 9 (unfinished)  - Alfred Schnittke  - Robert von Bahr  - Owain Arwel Hughes  -  Cape Philharmonic Orchestra
  2. Symphony No. 0  - Alfred Schnittke  - Robert von Bahr  - Owain Arwel Hughes  -  Cape Philharmonic Orchestra
  3. Symphony No. 8  - Alfred Schnittke  - Robert von Bahr  -  Norrköping Symphony Orchestra  - Lu Jia
  4. Symphony No. 6  - Alfred Schnittke  -  BBC National Orchestra of Wales  - Robert von Bahr  - Tadaaki Otaka
  5. Symphony No. 5 (Concerto Grosso No. 4)  - Alfred Schnittke  - Robert von Bahr  -  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra  - Helen Jahren  - Neeme Jarvi  - Christer Thorvaldsson  - Anders Robertson  - Nicola Boruvka  - Magnus Lundén  - Maria Nyberg  - Per Lundberg
  6. Symphony No. 4 for 2 soloists, piano, chamber chorus & chamber orchestra  - Alfred Schnittke  - Robert von Bahr  - Mikael Bellini  - Okko Kamu  - Lucia Negro  - Stefan Parkman  -  Stockholm Sinfonietta  -  Uppsala Academy Chamber Choir
  7. Symphony No. 7  - Alfred Schnittke  -  BBC National Orchestra of Wales  - Robert von Bahr  - David Nolan  - Tadaaki Otaka
  8. Symphony No. 3  - Alfred Schnittke  - Robert von Bahr  - Eri Klas  -  Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
  9. Symphony No. 2 for soloists, chorus & orchestra ("St. Florian")  - Alfred Schnittke  - Leif Segerstam  - Robert von Bahr  - Mikael Bellini  - Torkel Borelius  - Goran Eliasson  - Malena Ernman  -  Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra  -  Mikaeli Chamber Choir
  10. Applause  -  Recorded Sound  - Robert von Bahr
  11. Symphony No. 1  - Alfred Schnittke  - Leif Segerstam  - Robert von Bahr  -  Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra  - Carl-Axel Dominique  - Carl-Axel Dominique  - Åke Lännerholm  - Ben Kallenberg  - Ben Kallenberg

Read More

Album Credits

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >